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Kidnapped (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 27 May 1938 (USA)
In 1747, young David Balfour's life is threatened by his greedy uncle Ebenezer who wishes to become heir to the considerable Balfour estate.

Directors:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker), Otto Preminger (uncredited)

Writers:

Robert Louis Stevenson (as Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'/The Adventures of David Balfour), Sonya Levien (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warner Baxter ... Alan Breck
Freddie Bartholomew ... David Balfour
Arleen Whelan ... Jean MacDonald
C. Aubrey Smith ... Duke of Argyle
Reginald Owen ... Captain Hoseason
John Carradine ... Gordon
Nigel Bruce ... Neil MacDonald
Miles Mander ... Ebenezer Balfour
Ralph Forbes ... James
H.B. Warner ... Angus Rankeillor
Arthur Hohl ... Riach
E.E. Clive ... Minister MacDougall
Halliwell Hobbes ... Dominie Campbell
Montagu Love ... Colonel Whitehead
Donald Haines Donald Haines ... Ransome
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Storyline

In the late eighteenth century David Balfour's evil uncle arranges for him to be kidnapped and sent to sea where he meets exiled Breck. The two make their way back to Scotland and justice. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kidnapped: The Adventures of David Balfour See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Curiously, a shot of David Balfour peering around the back of a wooden keg with his right hand resting on a bushel of vegetables is on the front cover of the case of the 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Cinema Archives DVD, but it does not appear in the 90 min 13 sec version of the film on the DVD. The scene does appear after David tries to visit the Duke of Argyle at night, but is turned away by the guards at the gate, and then sneaks into the Duke's residence through the kitchen. At 1:19:00 there is a longer shot of a cook basting birds on spits over a large fire with David in the background passing behind two kegs and the vegetables on his way to the stairs, but not the closer shot of David pausing to peer around one of the kegs. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1747, but Arleen Whelan's hair style is strictly 1938. See more »

Quotes

Duke of Argyle: Better to deal with one martyr than a nation of martyrs.
See more »

Connections

Version of Kraft Theatre: Kidnapped (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Played briefly in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable, even though it often strays from the original story
13 May 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Years ago, I read Stevenson's story, KIDNAPPED. When I watched this 1938 version of the story, I couldn't help but wonder if I was losing my mind, as so much of it seemed like it wasn't in the book--particularly the romantic subplot and quite a bit of the action. Well, when I later checked, I found that for once I wasn't losing my mind--the story was heavily re-worked and in many places it bore little similarity to the novel. Additionally, I was surprised that despite the story being set in Scotland, none of the characters sounded like Scots--having mostly American and a few English accents. In particular, I have always liked Warner Baxter as an actor, but here he sounds exactly the same as he did in practically all his films--like a nice but not particularly rugged American.

Yet despite all this, the story still was rather enjoyable and kept my attention throughout. Very nice looking sets and a basic story that is hard to screw up, it isn't surprising that the story still delivers. It's well worth a look, but considering that KIDNAPPED is such an easy read, I still recommend the book over this film.


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